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This Struggling Burger Chain Just Announced a Bounce-Back Plan With 50 New Locations Nationwide

A source says the brand, beloved by New Yorkers, is planning their "largest expansion to date."

Restaurants have been hit hard during the pandemic, and many New York City restaurants in particular experienced a huge drop in business due to lockdown. However, one famous burger joint that's adored in New York has planned out an exciting way to thrive: Keep growing outside New York.

Continue reading to learn about the big plans for Shake Shack—and, check out This Local Fast Food Chain Is Opening Up Inside Walmart.

Shake Shack: An NYC Staple

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Famed chef Danny Meyer started Shake Shack in 2001 as a relatively humble operation in Madison Square Park. The brand quickly built a following, with New Yorkers and visitors seeking out the open-air restaurant stand as a reliable spot for burgers and fries.

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The Rise of Shake Shack

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Within the following decade, Shake Shack had opened several locations around New York City as well as in Miami for its first venture outside of NYC.

Today, the Shake Shack website suggests it has over 300 locations in 16 U.S. states, as well as Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

RELATED: McDonald's New Burger Just Debuted at These Locations

But This Hit Took a Hit

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Friday, Restaurant Dive reported that the chain, which is now publicly owned, saw its share of struggle due to the pandemic, saying: "[…T]he chain was dealing with quarterly double-digit same-store sales declines. During Q3 2020, the company's same-store sales declined 17.1%, with particularly steep falls in urban areas like New York City, where same-store sales declined by 43%."

Another bit of Shake Shack pandemic drama occurred when, as NBC News reported, the company accepted millions of dollars in government aid through the Paycheck Protection Program—a move that garnered public criticism for taking money away from small, independently owned businesses.

Subsequently, Shake Shack leaders returned the money, according to NPR.

RELATED: The Saddest Restaurant Closures in Your State

On the Rebound

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Restaurant Dive reported that this week on a quarterly sales call, Shake Shack's executives announced plans for its "largest expansion to date," aiming to open 45 to 50 new restaurants around the U.S. in 2022.

It's said suburban locations will be the "prime focus" for half of these locations, naming Kansas City, Minneapolis, Orlando, and Detroit in specific as cities that will see more of the Shack.

RELATED: The Best French Fries in Every State

New Shake Shack Experiences

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The report also mentions that Shake Shack will introduce new formats at some of these upcoming locations. Roughly 10 of the new spots will offer drive-thru service, while another 10 host a drive-up window or the classic Shake Shack walk-up format. Some of the new Shake Shack openings will also appear inside shopping centers.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more